March 27, 2013

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months…where a phrase sticks in your mind and heart? A verse? A line from poetry? Usually, I hear the internal gears grinding out the words from a John Milton Hayes poem I had to memorize in the 6th grade; or these classic words from a prayer I read on the walls of a shelter, “Slow me down Lord, I’m moving way too fast.”

Today’s words were different. Instead of the normal mantra, I’ve been listening to a refreshingly quiet hum from the depths of my soul whispering, “By the Grace of God go I.” It’s simple. It’s solid. It’s truth. And in the spirit of Easter, I believe it’s Christ reminding me that because he loves me, he has walked every step of the path before me and covered it with His grace. By His Grace. Beautiful, isn’t it.

My prayer is that you will also hear His voice whispering gently in your soul and through your Spirit.

March 20, 2013

One of my earliest memories (I was a toddler) is of placing a yellow rose on a casket. People were weeping, tones were hushed. Every time someone dies, it’s one of the first images that cross my mind.  And recently, there has been a lot of death.

Death is hard. It’s downright devastating, painful, and emotionally draining. It’s hard to let go. And yes, it’s a little bit scary (adrenaline pumping) to think of leaving this life since the number of our days is known only to our Creator. But meeting death, tearing through that veil that separates us from our Lord in all his glory and coming face to face with the deliverer of our souls will be the most intense and relief filled experience that the end of this part of life has to offer– because these shells that house our spirits, our souls are temporary. And because we believe, we hope, we trust in Jesus. Am I saddened at the death of those I love? Of course! Time has been removed from that relationship, and loss comes in waves, like a quiet, lapping lake blanketing my toes. I will miss them. But this has all come on the wings of an impending Easter, reminding me (Jesus’ timing is perfect) of the resurrection and an unbreakable life.

The gift of Christ has brought me to this: My hope lies in Christ; in the belief that Christ himself was there in every moment, just out of our physical sight; he took their hands, their hearts and souls and carried them– as we could not, reassuring them that the path ahead was ready to be traveled and the rest of us would be along in his time. I also believe that because of Christ, death cannot separate me from life…the way is not blocked. Now, death is only an open door that I must eventually pass through with my Savior. And I shall not despair, for He has overcome.

For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8-9)

I encourage you to continue on in your Lenten readings, waiting with enthusiasm the moment the empty tomb is discovered* in John 20, and Christ gently speaks Mary’s name. (*As you have previously  read in Matthew, Mark, and Luke)

March 6, 2013

Feeling rushed? Busy? Like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Remember that your faith lies in the creator of the universe who gave birth to time. Stop for a few moments and sit with the Lord—before you take another step into your day, and place every moment at his feet. Because he has the power to bend space and time to his will, these moments let you slow down and enjoy his presence all the  while allowing you to get done the things you truly need to accomplish. There are no limits to his power.

So prioritize your day — go to him first with your to do lists and calendar items and offer him your time before you do anything else. It’s amazing the levels of efficiency and peace that are reached when we offer our time to the Lord.